The revelation that a winning ticket from Wednesday’s big Powerball drawing was bought in Puerto Rico has sparked some outcry at the notion that someone outside the continental United States could cash in. Wednesday’s Powerball was for $564.1 million, the multistate lottery’s third-largest jackpot ever, and it will be split three ways between Puerto Rico's ticket holder and two others who bought a winning ticket in North Carolina and Texas, respectively.
Requisite offensive tweets ensued -- including one that blamed U.S. President Barack Obama -- but there's one fact that some posters apparently weren't aware of: Puerto Rico is a United States territory. In fact, Puerto Rico officially became a U.S. commonwealth more than a half century ago, making Powerball sales -- and winnings -- there completely legal. The same is true for Washington, D.C., which is also not a state, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
If I'm the guy from Texas or NC I'm pissed I have to share the powerball with someone from Puerto Rico. Should have to speak English to win
â€” Sniper (@SniperLouisiana) February 12, 2015